The Lady Or The Tiger--Successful Critiquing

Decorating By -K8memphis Updated 31 Mar 2014 , 5:49pm by DeliciousDesserts

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-K8memphis Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 2:29pm
post #1 of 5

i think we have advanced the cause of cake deco in so many directions from the humblest cupcake on up *=D> applause hurray for us--and we continue to receive golden opportunity after golden opportunity to enhance/enthuse someone's cake world--


but we really need to sharpen our critiquing skills--here's an easy pictorial guide to take to heart the elements of a successful critique in an effort to reduce/eliminate the other kind--



There's an art to giving critical feedback that encourages someone to improve, rather than hurting his or her self esteem...Start the conversation with a compliment, bring up the criticism, then mention something else that's positive. Hearing critical feedback sandwiched between positive statements makes the medicine go down much easier...


what do you think?

4 replies
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Rfisher Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 2:51pm
post #2 of 5

AI love your dedication to the sport of cake, K8. Unfortunately, the people who mean to be mean wont change their ways. They need to be ignored by the person that is the subject at hand.. Maybe by bystanders as well. The suggestions I've read from you on baking has given me some good insight over the years. This forum and others. I appreciate it.

How did I do?

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Crazy-Gray Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 2:56pm
post #3 of 5

AAhaaa! the 'Praise Sandwich' I use it all the time with my staff :-)

Well said K8

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DeliciousDesserts Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 5:48pm
post #4 of 5

Ya part of my Psychology degree I attended (and aced) a "Helpful Communication" class.  Some of those principles have stuck.  I try to use "I" statements vs. "You."  I try to be considerate in constructive criticism while also being empathetic and encouraging.


Still, some people will always magnify hatred.  They will twist words and motives.  Some people just don't want to hear any criticism at all.  Most of the time, it is easy to see when someone just wants someone to commiserate their pain.  Other times, someone asks for critique even when what they really want is words of encouragement.  It's a fine line trying to dance around the possibilities.


In general, I don't like to offer my opinion on someone else's work.  When I do, I try to start with something positive and end with something encouraging.  Today, it was met with hurt and I was accused of being patronizing.  Still, I will not sit by and watch as members rush in to praise sub par work.  It is a HUGE disservice to the posting member as well as potential clients.


My 3 year old makes the most beautiful drawings and finger paintings.  He shouldn't be selling them.  How sad would it be to encourage him to do so and then watch as time and time again his little spirit is crushed by those who don't see the magic I do.  


Let's all be helpful.  Let's also be honest.  Call a spade a spade.  No need to be hateful, but there is absolutely a need to be honest.

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DeliciousDesserts Posted 31 Mar 2014 , 5:49pm
post #5 of 5

Furthermore, there is a BIG difference between offering criticism to a hobbyist and offering it to someone selling a cake.

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